TWENTY-FOUR leading West Indies Women cricketers will gather in Antigua this weekend, for a training camp which bowls off tomorrow at The Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG).
The camp will be the first face-to-face assignment with the players for new head coach Courtney Walsh and his technical support team, who will conduct a three-week high-performance programme for a mixture of senior players and new faces.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree to the safety protocols for the commencement and duration of the camp.
All players and support staff were tested twice with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival into Antigua. The players and support staff will train and live in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the camp, during which time four more tests will be conducted.
The preparation camp, running from January 9 to February 1, kick-starts the year’s activities for the women’s team, a feature of which will be the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, due to take place in Sri Lanka in July.
Walsh said: “It’s very gratifying that the camp can take place during this challenging COVID-19 period, as the players are excited about getting down to work. We have a good mixture of youth and experience coming into the camp and I’m especially looking forward to working with some of the younger talent we have coming through.”
Coach Walsh will be joined by an experienced team of qualified coaches including former West Indies players, Robert Samuels and Corey Collymore. The camp will be also overseen by High-Performance Manager, Graeme West.
Walsh added, “Also on the coaching side, we have Samantha Lynch joining us and she did her Level 3 coaching certification training at the same time I did, so I know her very well.
“This camp will be a good experience for her, and I expect her to quickly become an asset to the team. Also, we have Steve Liburd who went to England with the team last September, to help with the fielding and Ryan Austin to focus on our spinners. I think we have a good blend of players and coaches and I’m looking forward to a great camp.”
Among the 24 players called up for the camp are some world-class performers: Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed and Shakera Selman.
Japhina Joseph, a right-handed batter from St Vincent and The Grenadines, is the newest member to be invited to the training camp. She impressed the selectors during the CWI Under-19 tournament in 2019.
All-rounder Qiana Joseph from Windward Islands makes a return to the training squad along with teenager Steffi Soogrim from Trinidad and Tobago.
Full Squad: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Sheneta Grimmond, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Japhina Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Natasha McLean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Steffi Soogrim and Stafanie Taylor.
Team Management Unit: Courtney Walsh (Head Coach), Robert Samuels (Assistant Coach), Corey Collymore (Assistant Coach), Ryan Austin (Assistant Coach), Steve Liburd (Assistant Coach), Samantha Lynch (Assistant Coach), Neil Barry (Physiotherapist), Shayne Cooper (S&C Coach), Amanda Johnson (Mental Skills Coach), Gary Belle (Team Analyst), Sheena Gooding (Team Manager), Naasira Mohammed (Media & Content Officer)